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Bio: Rob Adams

Rob Adams Headshot


Rob Adams is an active investor, author, consultant and faculty member of the Management Department at the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business, where he teaches in the MBA and MSTC programs and is the Director of Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs.

Dr. Adams is an active angel investor and board member for several start-ups with with numerous venture funds--several of which he started--under his belt. He was a software operating executive for two decades before jumping into the venture business. Dr. Adams has been a founder, founding investor, or player in the public offering, merger or acquisition of more than 40 companies. Those companies have launched over 100 products and dealt in transactions worth more than one billion dollars of capital.

Before entering the venture business, Adams was a technology executive. He started his career with Lotus (NYSE: IBM), joining the company shortly after its public offering. He was instrumental in the development and launch of both 1-2-3 for Macintosh and Lotus Notes. He went on to found and become CEO of Business Matters, a venture-backed developer of financial modeling products and was an executive with Pervasive Software (NASDAQ: PVSW). He also helped take the company public.

Adams founded AV Labs, a successful early stage venture fund allied with Austin Ventures. Before joining the University of Texas, Adams founded Tejas Venture Partners, his second venture fund.

Adams holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University where he is a Distinguished Alumnus, a Masters of Business Administration from Babson College’s Olin School of Management and a Ph.D. in Management from Capella University. He has taught at the MBA programs of The Acton School of Business, Babson College, The University of Texas at Austin and St. Edwards University.

He is a nationally recognized speaker on entrepreneurship, company and product strategy, marketing and technology issues. He recently keynoted the Inc. 500 business conference, and consults for numerous Fortune 500 companies. He provides expert testimony on technology-related business issues, and has consulted on economic development and early stage company development for numerous governments including Chile, Costa Rica, India, Malaysia, New Zealand and Thailand. He blogs for and has been covered in Business Week, Forbes,Fortune, Money, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, on Bloomberg Radio, Public Television, and public radio’s nationally syndicated “Marketplace” program.

He is the author of A Good Hard Kick in the Ass: Basic Training for Entrepreneurs (Random House/Crown, 2002), and If You Build It Will They Come? Three Steps to Test and Validate Any Market Opportunity (Wiley, April 2010).

Adams is a Fellow at the IC2 Institute, a University of Texas based foundation that runs the Austin Technology Incubator, on the board of Purdue Research Park, and a volunteer with Austin’s Habitat for Humanity. He is an avid downhill skier and marathoner. He was a collegiate rower and graduated from the Marine Corps’ Officer Candidate School.